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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spring Break Wrap-up

Katie and I went on our road trip as planned. Here's the summary:

Las Vegas
We met my dad in the Imperial Palace on Saturday afternoon. He was gambling on horse races and sports (what else would he be doing in Vegas?). After getting settled in the room and what not, we walked around the Strip for awhile and wandered into the newer Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace. Among the highlights in those stores was the Sony Style store. They had a 70" TV that was crystal clear from inches away. Gone are the days where you have to be 60 feet away to see a 60" TV clearly. It's only 6 grand. So who wants to give me 6 grand for the TV of my dreams? I think it may be one of my first purchases when I actually have a real job as a pharmacist.

We also saw Pete Rose in a memorabilia shop. What a place for Pete Rose: the king of gambling in Sin City.

And speaking of gambling, Katie and I tried our luck. Who out there understands the penny slots? It just didn't make sense to my pea brain. The 1 line, 5 lines, 10 lines game does not make any sense (and the Hot Hot Penny slots just killed my mind). So we had to become high rollers and play $1 blackjack machines. Katie put a $20 in the machine and accidentally hit the max bet button instead of the deal button. Ha! I swear she was about to bawl. "Undo? Cancel? How do I cancel it?!?!?!" Ha. But as it turned out, she won and just about did a touchdown dance.

On the second night we were in Vegas, we had planned to see a concert with Meg & Dia, Jonezetta, Bayside, and Anberlin. Since NASCAR and the inbred goat fuckers that love it were in town, I did not want to drive to the concert. We grabbed a cab at the Imperial Palace. Unfortunately, Habib was our driver (Habib is the generic name for an Arab, just like Pedro is the name of a generic Mexican).

I told him we needed to go to the University Theatre and that it was near if not on the UNLV campus. I handed him directions, including a map of the area. He drove us to where he thought the Theatre was. As it turns out, he dropped us off on-campus. We walked around and asked various people where the Theatre was. They told us where they thought it was, but boy, were they ever fucked up. We walked and walked and walked (after already walking miles on the Strip earlier). After meandering around the UNLV campus for about 30 minutes, we went into a furniture store. The guy in there looked at us and pointed…..5 blocks down the street.

As it turns out, the University Theatre has no relation whatsoever to UNLV. It's a small empty building that has a stage and room for about 200 people. And it's not on campus. Goddamn worthless Habib. Couldn't even read the directions I gave him.

We got there and got in just before the concert started. All four bands were very good (in my opinion anyways). Jonezetta is a group that is similar to the Killers. They were fun and the drummer was insanely good. Meg & Dia is a girl band led by two girls that look like Jessica Alba, so that's good. Not the best singers, but a good band. Bayside is a harder punk band from New York. They recently lost a member of their band in a car crash. They rocked pretty hard and people got a little mosh pit going. Anberlin was absolutely hyper on stage and the 250 or so people there were rocking out. I tried to record an acoustic song, but my camera fucked the pooch on it.

After the concert, we called a cab and the guy said to look for a fat Puerto Rican guy in white van. He picked us up and sure enough, he was a fat Puerto Rican dude in a white van. He maneuvered that van through stopped traffic lanes at a diagonal line to the lanes with one hand. It was a marvelous display of driving skill. He said he noticed a lady putting on make-up and a guy reading a newspaper, so he went for the opening. And to top it off, he could speak 8 languages…fluently.

The best line of the trip (I thought) was by him when we told him about our abysmal cab driver earlier in the day:

"There are three types of people in Vegas that try to drive cab: Egyptians, Bulgarians, and Indians. And if you're not one of those, you might be able to drive a cab."

Here's a video of the Bellagio's light and water show (there was sound, but my camera sucks):

Not much went on Redlands. We ate at a nice Italian restaurant with my folks, we played with my kitty, and we visited my granny. Nothing exciting, I know.

I did however pick up an awesome T-shirt.

We met up with Alex and he and Nicole took us out to a sports bar to eat dinner. However, Alex had other interests than just food. The Suns were playing a nail biter and he was all twitterpated. Luckily, they won so Alex didn't have a complete mental breakdown.

The next day, Katie and I wandered around Phoenix shopping areas and we both picked up new shoes. She snagged some sandals and I got a new pair of every day shoes. For the first time in my life, I bought a pair of Converse shoes. I usually don't care for their designs and whatnot, but these drew my eyes. Probably because they are black and such.

On the final day in Phoenix, I set up a tee time at a supposedly fancy golf course called Ahwatukee Country Club. Well, it wasn't anything special. It was a normal course that winds its way through about 214,385,538,937 homes. The greens were beautiful though, and that probably helped me shoot 71 (-1). I made nearly every putt I looked at. It was insane. Everything just fell right in the dead center of the hole. Katie can attest my score.

But, just to end the round on a shitty note, I left my cell phone in the golf cart at the course and didn't realize it until we were back at Alex's (25 minutes away). *Sigh*

Later that night, we went to Body Worlds 3. If you have the chance to see the exhibit, you should do it. It's where they take the bodies donated to science and remove all the fat, then sculpt them into positions and show muscles, organs, blood vessels, and bones. It's amazing to see all the different organs and such splayed out.

The Drive
We drove about 15 hours in one day. It was horrendous. Mapquest and Google Maps told us that it would take about 13 hours to go a certain way and we blindly believed them. Ugh. We took the I-17 N from Phoenix and then the 89 North. The 89 N is bizarre. It's a two lane highway, then a windy mountain road, then a city street, then a two lane highway again. At points, you wind through river bottoms, then come out onto a plain, then rise up to look at the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The 89 dumped us out near St. George, Utah. Then it was just the good ole standby, I-15 N, the rest of the way into Pocatello. There wasn't much to the rest of the drive, besides the road construction in Salt Lake City that narrowed the freeway down to one lane and caused an accident. We got into Pocatello at the utterly obscene time of 1:00 AM local time.

Below is a link to a slideshow of the trip.

We have lab once a week, but this time, we were required to go to elementary schools and tell the little kids not to drink bleach.

The entire program was so disorganized that it gave me a headache just thinking about it. First of all, we had a pretty useless "training" session. Second of all, there were not enough props and pamphlets to go around. Thirdly, there was only one costume (to dress up as Mr. Yuk, a giant green unhappy face). Finally, the Poison Prevention video had no sound to it.

Our group managed to make a half decent presentation out of it, but we should have targeted younger kids. We taught a 4th grade class and it was pretty pointless. They already knew everything and we really didn't bring anything new and ground-breaking to the table.

So yeah, I thought it was a waste of time. Also, most people got volunteer hours for it (there is a required number of 40). But I am already done with those hours, so I feel like I got fucked on that. I should never have had to participate in it.

Despair, Inc.

We had a professor come in and teach a guest lecture on hospices and dying well. He was probably one of the better instructors we've had this year. Anyways, he presented a great website to us. Enjoy and think of me when you read these…..

More Movie Reviews by Rico

So here are some movies I've watched recently and what I've thought of them…

Jackass 2: It was grossly funny and funnily gross, although it revolves primarily around puking, pooping, and penises. Let's just say I don't really love seeing wang, but at least it was funny.
Little Miss Sunshine: I swear I had heard this movie was supposed to be fun for the whole family, but it may not have been too fun for the young'uns. There was a lot of adult humor, drug use, and questionable material. Now don't get me wrong, I thought it was a great movie. But kids may not get ¾ of the humor and parents would be offended if their kids even saw it. I mean, having a grandpa that snorts cocaine and loves porno is not exactly rated PG.
Stranger Than Fiction: I thought this movie was advertised as a comedy. Well, as it turns out, it's not a comedy. It's a drama. It was pretty good, but I was somewhat disappointed because my expectations of a comedy certainly were not fulfilled.

Sand Blasters

Katie and I were spinning the dial one night and ran across the show called "Sand Blasters." It's a show where they make those intricate and amazing sand sculptures on the beach. However, they just had to make the show EXTREME.

Every couple hours, they blow up one of the sculptures and that team of sand sculptors has to start over. I really don't understand the need to blow up a piece of artwork. I mean, it's kind of cool to watch the sand fly everywhere, but seriously? Why does a sand sculpture contest need dynamite? Those two things don't really go together. That's like saying golf tournaments need Navy Seals to parachute it and chase the golfers around with paintball guns or like saying that soccer needs landmines randomly scattered about the field.

Well, maybe soccer does need landmines. At least then it would be interesting and we'd get rid of some of the dummies playing it.

Random School Story

My teacher told us a story where his identity got stolen and someone racked up $5,000 worth of charges in phone sex. He said his wife thought he just went nuts on the credit card. Literally.

Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You?

Apparently, the IRS cannot fucking read. They took my "Intern Pharmacist" license to mean "Pharmacist." They sent me this little letter to say that I owed them about $20,000-$25,000 for the last year. Dumb motherfuckers. Yeah, I don't make $90,000. I make maybe $5,000. Maybe.

eBay Fun

I bought a racquetball racket awhile back and decided that I didn't really love it, so I put it up for sale on eBay. Some asshole named flashgordon2001 won it. He refused to pay Paypal though, which he agreed to by bidding on the damn thing. He didn't want his wife to see the transaction. Pansy. Grow a pair and lay down the law. Enjoy the dispute dialogue:
An Unpaid Item dispute has been opened for the following item: Wilson Racquetball Racquet NEW Crushing Power Titanium (#320087753082)
Reason given for Unpaid Item: The buyer has not paid for the item.
Buyer actions reported by seller: The buyer wants a payment method that I don't accept.

Buyer offered to pay with a money order, but my auction terms CLEARLY state that Paypal is my only accepted means of payment.
i have offered to pay for this item in cash but you will only accept what you decide is the only method you will accept. what about me i explaned why i need to pay in cash. can an item for sale not be purchased for cash. i will send united states postal money order. when you have decided that you have all the money then ship. get off of your high horse this is business not a i said you do game. cash is accepted everywhere.
Wow, that was pretty rude. I do not accept any means of payment besides Paypal because I have been burned so many times before. I know you say you will send payment, but I have had many buyers say the same thing before. I stated my auction terms very clearly and you agreed to them by bidding. I will not accept anything but Paypal.
The Unpaid Item dispute has been closed for the following reason: The seller has ended this communication and filed for a Final Value Fee credit."
Ha. He can't even speak English. Jesus. After reading the auction page, there is no way that you would think that you could get away with paying with anything but Paypal. Here are the sections of my auction terms that state the methods of payment:
Payments section in the item description:

Serious bidders only! Please! I have had some trouble lately with people skipping out on payment and I would like to deal with serious eBayers only. If you think you may not be able to pay in the allotted time (see my payment methods and such below), then do not bid. Thank you.
I can only accept Paypal at this time. No exceptions!!! No money orders or personal checks are allowed. I have had too many bad experiences with them. Blame the bad eBayers out there for this, not me.

Accepted payment methods:

Seller's payment instructions:

I only accept Paypal right now. I reserve the right to cancel any auction if payment is not received inside 2 weeks. In fact, I will open an Unpaid Item Claim after 1 week (giving you 1 week to pay).

Stupid Soup

Katie and I made Cajun Corn soup about a week ago. Halfway through the process, you have to take boiling soup and thin it out by putting it in the blender. Well, I blended it a little, but then I wanted to give it a little extra. The last little push of the "blend" button must have created pressure (along with the heat from the soup) and caused it to blow off the top of the blender, spraying boiling beans, corn, and liquid into my face. I had corn in my ear and hair and beans in my eyes. So yeah, it blistered my face.

Current mood: bored (in class)
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